The Big Dig
Like the filling of Back Bay over 100 years ago, the Big Dig has transformed Boston – and yet even more awaits us. Rather than waiting a century to celebrate this incredible transformation made possible by waves of engineering breakthroughs, which ensured that the 1990s were a time of Boston downtown growth (and not chaos), it is time to step back and recognize the massive 30 year project for what it has already created in our physical and social landscape.
Stop the Highways! Start the Impossible!
Alan Altshuler, and later Jack Gifford, Director of the Boston Transportation Planning Review (BTPR), headed up the reviews involving hundreds of people and community organizations. Out of this came a resolution that no new highways were to be built unless they sought to build communities (not divide them), and minimized the impact on homes and businesses.
Vision of Change
The task seemed impossible though. How do you develop a new highway system underground, and keep the city going and growing through the minimum 10 years of construction? It would take some major innovations in construction, engineering, civic participation and leadership to make this happen.
Construction, Engineering and Design
All this, and much more, was made possible by at least five major innovations in engineering, construction and design. Expanding on relevant models from smaller, but similar projects around the world, the engineers developed major innovations. Now, engineers visit Boston for inspiration and implement breakthroughs found here to use for their own projects.